Tuesday, September 2

Magpies - More Confusion

It's now official...Keegan has resigned

Thursday, 4 September 2008, BBC Sport Report - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/7593683.stm

He added: "It remains my fervent wish to see Newcastle United do well in the future and I feel incredibly sorry for the players, staff and most importantly the supporters.

"I have been left with no choice other than to leave."

Now they say Keegan is still the manager...

Keegan not sacked, say Newcastle
The future of Kevin Keegan and the manager's role at Newcastle United is unclear after the club insisted it had not sacked him.

BBC Sport understands Keegan, 57, had left the club following a series of meetings with the board.

But in a statement, the club said: "Kevin has raised a number of issues.

"We'd like to stress Kevin is extremely important both now and in the future and want him to continue to play an instrumental role as manager."

However, the statement did not go into detail as to whether Keegan had left the club in the preceding hours as BBC Sport had been led to understand.

Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers Association, later said that Keegan has not resigned as Newcastle manager.

"(Bevan) has tonight spoken to Keegan, who over the next few days will be communicating with the club's board to discuss a number of important issues," reported BBC Radio 5 Live.
One of the main areas of dispute is believed to be the future of controversial midfielder Joey Barton, a player who Keegan has strongly supported.

Barton was recently in jail for 74 days for an assault conviction and will also be attending a personal hearing on Friday after admitting a Football Association violent conduct charge.

BBC 5 Live commentator Ian Dennis said: "My understanding is that Kevin Keegan has fallen foul of the board over the future of Joey Barton. Obviously he remains loyal to Barton."

Tuesday's events came as something of a surprise given Newcastle's positive start season after picking up a point at Manchester United and then beating Bolton prior to Saturday's defeat at Arsenal.

Outside St James' Park, Newcastle fans made their feelings known about the managerial speculation, with a large majority in support of Keegan and calling for owner Mike Ashley to step down.

It was a very different reaction for Ashley from the fans in June last year when he was deemed the club's saviour after completing a £135m takeover.

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Angry Newcastle fans gathered outside the ground during the day

He then sacked Sam Allardyce as manager at the start of 2008 after a run of poor results and shocked the football world by bringing back Keegan for a second spell in charge.

The former Newcastle striker's first spell as manager was between 1992 and 1997, when he saved the Magpies from dropping to the third tier of English football and almost guided them to the Premier League title in 1997.

But this time round, rumours of discontent began to emerge when Ashley brought in Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez in positions which gave them powers over transfer dealings.

"Dennis Wise, as people have mentioned, came in," former Newcastle winger Chris Waddle told BBC 5 Live. "Then coach Chris Hughton came in and you thought, 'Where did Kev pick him from or was he picked for him?'.

"It has never been a happy relationship."

Keegan's relationship with Ashley was also not helped when in May the manager said he did not think the club could become a top-four club.

The transfer window saw the arrival of six players at Newcastle, with five players leaving the club.

James Milner was one of those who left last week, transferred to Aston Villa for a fee of £12m, with Keegan admitting it had been difficult to see the 22-year-old leave.

Keegan walked out on Newcastle in 1997, after his first spell, stating "I feel I have taken the club as far as I can". He also resigned from his post as England coach in 2000.

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2008/09/02 23:26:39 GMT

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